<<   N. 4350   >>

Leeds, Titan [?-1738]. Leeds 1731: The American almanack for the year of Christian account 1731. [...] Fitted to the latitude of 40 degrees north, and a meridian of five hours west from London, but may, without sensible error, serve all the adjacent places even from Newfoundland to South-Carolina. By Titan Leeds, philomat. [New York] Printed [by William Bradford] for, and sold by Daniel Ayrault and Edward Nearegreas at Newport, 1731 [i.e. 1730].

In 12° (16 cm), A-C4, cc. [12]. La sola incisione è costituita dall’Anatomy.

E’ una delle prime uscite di questo almanacco americano, che fu pubblicato anche dopo la morte di Titan Leeds, fino al 1746. Riporto la scheda della Company William Reese di New Heaven (febbraio 2019), che ricostruisce una storia interessante relativa a questo almanacco: The death of Titan Leeds was a subject of some controversy earlier in the decade, when Benjamin Franklin, writing as Richard Saunders in the first issue of the "Poor Richard" almanac (and inspired by Jonathan Swift's famous Bickerstaff hoax of 1708), predicted that his "good friend and fellow-student" would die "on October 17, 1733, 3 hr. 29 m., P.M., at the very instant of the conjunction of the Sun and Mercury." When Leeds announced his survival the following year, launching invectives at his competitor, "Saunders" responded in his 1734 almanac that his "dear friend" must, indeed, have died, as the true "Mr. Leeds was too well bred to use any man so indecently and so scurrilously" as he had used "Poor Richard" in his protests. For the next several years Richard Saunders continued to insist that Leeds was no more, and following the announcement of Leeds' actual death in 1738, Saunders printed a letter from Leeds' ghost admitting: "I did actually die at that moment, precisely at the hour you mentioned, with a variation of 5 minutes, 53 seconds." The "ghost" of Titan Leeds, in fact, hovered in the imprint of the American Almanack through its 1746 issue, the final year for which Leeds was said to have calculated the calendar before dying. In addition to the calendar, the 1738 American Almanack contains schedules for courts, Quaker and Baptist meetings, and fairs; a list of roads and distances between points from Boston to South Carolina; a catalogue of living monarchs and their dates of birth; an excerpt from the Dunciad; original verse; a bookseller's advertisement for Andrew Bradford; and a note to the reader with apocalyptic speculations pertaining to the Pope. The titlepage features an elaborate armorial woodcut, and a woodcut anatomical depiction of the zodiac appears on page [3]. Altra tiratura relativa allo stesso anno 1731 ha quali dati editoriali Printed and sold by William Bradford in New-York, and Andrew Bradford in Philadelphia.

Esemplari: Yale University; American Antiquarian Society, Philadelphia.